.007% Hydrogen Fusion Conversion Efficiency Leaves Helium
I was interested in turning up double oh seven as a nuclear bond fusion conversion from mass efficiency rating in a book I found recently. Sure physicists know this sort of thing backwards and forwards, or extra-dimensionally and sideways with the future writing in the past, yet I am an unemployed house painter so it is new to me. Martin Reese writing in his book ‘Just Six Numbers’ published about a decade ago described a few of the constants of nature that enable the Universe to exist in the form it does.
One of the forces and derivative numerical value he selected was that of the strong force that binds atoms together and its energy efficiency rating converting mass during nuclear fusion. If the number was different it could have reshaped the course of the Universe.
We know that hydrogen is the most common element in the Universe, and the most simple-much of it ends up drawn together by gravity to form stars. Hydrogen atoms crushed together in atomic fusion-their nucleuses fused together- shrink down a little bit releasing the excess mass as heat.
There is of course an intermediate step in hydrogen fusion proceeding onward to yield helium that I’ll skip over. A helium atom ‘weighs just 99.3% as much as the two protons and neutrons that form it’-(a paraphrase from page 42 of ‘Just Six Numbers’). During the process of nuclear fusion the excess mass is .007%. The mass is given up as heat energy and thus we learn the interesting fact about the efficiency of that nuclear bond.
Helium itself is a comparatively inefficient fusion element converting mass to energy at just .001% efficiency. Compared to the hydrogen fusion that went to build up helium the energy conversion capacity of helium is quite low. The helium burning life of a star is shorter than that of hydrogen.
One must wonder if there are more efficient fusion methods that will be discovered one day-perhaps fusion of extra small dimensions together, or fusion of atoms of space to create time. Perhaps scientists will discover how to produce unlimited amounts of anti-matter through quantum teleportation of information.
Rees mentioned that the only 100% efficient conversion of matter into energy occurs when matter and anti-matter ‘fuses’ to annihilate mass and release just energy at the speed of light.
Obviously one wonders what pure energy is, and if there is pure anti-energy or anti-photons. One might think, if not a physicist, that energy could only manifest its existence in relation to mass-moving it or something, and that in an otherwise empty space-time vacuum it might effectively not exist.
The strong force bonds atomic nuclei together, and is therefore interesting to think about. Atomic orbits have the ability to carry a certain amount of energy or particles (electrons) before they must flip out to another level. Atomic nuclei have an implicitly stable structure permissible by nature.
So one wonders about the strong force-isn’t it just the actualization of a smaller particle/s? That might be quarks or strings in their actualization.
The prospects for bonding atomic nuclei together with a greater release of energy than that of hydrogen may not be good. Hydrogen is the simplest element and as the complexity of atomic structure increases so does, apparently, the inefficiency of the release of energy in nuclear fusion. I guess there would be a difficulty in making synthetic elements that would readily fuse and release much energy as the protons and neutrons consolidated. Maybe the mass of a synthetic element and its potential energy released in fusion must be enough that it is like change from a dollar-and not enough to form new bills as one might get if it were change for a five. If change is the energy and bills are larger, more stable components of atoms, there may be an implicit categorical limit to the amount of energy that can be released through a fusion process outside an extreme gravitational field.
If God were to have said ‘let there be light’ in such a context with nothing including space-time existing he could have taken a matter-anti-matter concentrate of a few hundred pounds and set it off from a safe distance I guess to provide enough space-time, mass or pure energy to form a universe’s content.